City pastor to hang for murdering his pregnant girlfriend
A preacher, who killed his girlfriend eight years ago, will spend his life in prison after the Court of Appeal upheld death sentence that was imposed by the trial court.
Pastor Paul Ng’ang’a Wanjiru of Well of Faith Ministries in Gatina, Dagoretti, was found guilty of murdering Caroline Chanjira in 2012 following a spat over child support.
Evidence by government pathologist, Dr Johansen Oduor showed that Chanjira died because of a head injury. The victim also had neck injuries which the pathologist said were caused by an iron cable in an attempt to strangulate.
She had stab wounds on the forehead and face caused by a pointed or sharp object and defensive injuries on the back of her hand, indicating there was a struggle.
While giving their evidence, the prosecution said that after the attack, the victim sought help from some security guards who were on their way to Racecourse, Karen.
The victim informed them that she had been assaulted by three people in a vehicle that they had just passed.
The security guards drove back and found Pastor Wanjiru and his guitarist James Mutunga. Their clothes were drenched in blood.
Pastor Wanjiru and Mutunga explained that they had just been attacked by thugs and requested the security guards to take them to a police station. The guards agreed to do so, but Pastor Wanjiru requested to lock his car first.
Instead, he disappeared into the forest on Ngong road.
The victim succumbed to her injuries within a few hours of the assault in the Intensive Care Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital.
At the time of her death, Chanjira, who was an employee of a city hotel, was four months pregnant and a mother of another child aged eight at that time.
After fleeing the scene, the pastor reported at the Muthangari Police Station, the same night, that he had been carjacked near Junction on Ngong road by two people armed with a pistol.
Those people, he claimed, were in the company of a woman. He claimed they robbed him of Sh4,000 and forced him to drive his vehicle to Lenana School.
In the meantime, the OCS in Karen, after learning of the attack on Chanjira, communicated with all officers commanding stations within Nairobi, enquiring whether any person had reported a case of robbery.
Alphonzo Ngundo, the OCS at Muthangari Police Station confirmed from his report desk that indeed the preacher had already reported a case of robbery and had thereafter proceeded to Mid Hill Hospital for treatment.
Mr Ngundo dispatched two officers to the hospital where they arrested the pastor. He had an injury on the forehead and his clothes were bloodstained.
A DNA analysis conducted by Dr Paul Waweru Kang’ethe on the blood found on the pastor and his guitarist matched the victim’s DNA profile.
After the trial, the guitarist was acquitted while the pastor was sent to the hangman. In his sworn defence, Mr Muia said the victim’s injuries were caused by the preacher inside the vehicle. During the scuffle, the third person in the car alighted and disappeared.
The pastor appealed against his sentence arguing that the prosecution case was built entirely on circumstantial evidence, which did not precisely point to him as the one who murdered the deceased.
He also faulted the trial court for convicting him of murder without proof of motive, malice and for relying on the statement made by the victim to the security guards that she had been assaulted in his vehicle.
He told the court that he did not know Chanjira and had never met her before.
But justices Mohammed Warasame, Kathurima M’Inoti and Sankale Ole Kantai ruled that there were no gaps in the prosecution case that would have undermined the appellant’s conviction.
The judge also found there was no bias on the part of the trial judge.
“The conduct of the appellant and the nature of the injuries inflicted on the deceased are clear indications that he intended to kill the deceased or to inflict on her grievous injuries,” said the judges.